Q: Thanksgiving is a holiday that doesn’t seem to get its due. I want my children to understand the meaning of the holiday, as it is an important part of American history. What kinds of activities can I do with my children that will teach them more about this important day?
A: I agree that Thanksgiving doesn’t get the same attention as other holidays. Yet it is an important part of American history that should not be relegated to a big meal! Here are a few ideas. Print up a paper that says, “I am thankful for…” and everyday in November have your kids fill in the blank. Then, read a few of their answers on Thanksgiving. Print up an Indian sign language charts and use them to write a story. Cook a few original colony foods (you can look these up on the Internet) and talk about the first feast. My children couldn’t believe eel and squirrel were on the menu of the settlers. Try your hand at several colonial crafts like weaving and pottery making with homemade clay. Get an archery board and shoot arrows. Build a campfire and try to cook something over it. Activities like these will make the holiday come alive and give an appreciation of what times were like during colonial days. Finally find quotes about the holiday like this one from Abraham Lincoln, “But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own…” and talk about what Lincoln meant and how we can remember to give God the glory for all we have.
But does your age make a difference when it comes to alcohol consuming?
As you age, you lose muscle mass, body water and tend to add more fat. Alcohol doesn’t distribute in your fat, meaning it will circulate in your bloodstream more and be metabolized in your liver. The liver gets bigger as we age, but less efficient. And the enzyme responsible for breaking down alcohol decreases too.
Aging means less alcohol has more effect than when you were younger.
Think about medications you may be taking. Drug-interaction is a major concern with alcohol. One of the common problems is acetaminophen (Tylenol) and alochol. The two can damage the liver.
Long-term alcohol use can also raise blood pressure and irritate the stomach.
The brain is more sensitive to alcohol and cognitive impairment happens more quickly.
Sleep is more affected and interrupted.
Aging matters. The effects of alcohol are more problematic on the liver and brain. Moderate drinking, defined as two drinks per day for men and one for women, can have some health benefits, but moderate is the key. So limit your consumption this holiday season and go for the nonalcoholic options. Your aging body will thank you.
If you are like most of us, you will put on an extra pound or two. And while that doesn’t sound too bad, most of us don’t lose that weight after the holidays are over.
So here are a few tips to prevent that holiday weight gain:
1) Don’t go into deprivation mode and try to resist the goodies. Mentally, this is a set up to overeat. Depriving yourself makes you want it more. Instead, tell yourself you can have it, but have it in moderation.
2) Take a bite or two and then stop. Research shows that the greatest satisfaction with food is in those first few bites. Take them slowly and savor them. Then push it away. You get the pleasure, but not the guilt!
3) Move as much as possible. Take stairs instead of the elevator. Park a ways from the mall and walk. Bundle up and take a walk. Think of ways to move more if you can’t exercise regularly.
4) Don’t go hungry to parties or events. You will overeat. Drink a full glass of water, eat a small piece of fruit and take the edge off your appetite.
5) Park yourself close to a low cal party item. If you nervously eat during holiday get togethers, make it the low cal items. Carrots and hummus versus the Christmas cookie tray.
6) Now, you are not going to like this last tip, but it does help prevent weight gain during the holidays. Weigh yourself regularly! I know, that sounds crazy but it is a reality check that keeps you accountable. People who weight themselves gain less weight.
You can do this. Get out there an enjoy all the festivities. Stay mindful of what and when you eat, pace yourself and you will do just fine!
Rachel is like so many of her friends, single but wants to be married. She is tired of being set up and being disappointed when it comes to finding the right guy. But is her complaint all about the men she meets or are there signals she gives that say, don’t date me?
The feedback on social media surveys may make her take a look at her own behavior. The surveys asked singles what could be going wrong when it comes to finding Mr. Right.
Author and dating coach, Marni Kinrys, conducted several on-line polls in order to get a better idea of what single women might be doing wrong when it comes to dating. Here is what she found from her readers when it comes to single women on dates:
1) Too much smart phone use. This ranked #1 on her survey. Men don’t want to compete with your phone. Keep it in your purse!
2) Bad manners. Yes, men notice this.
3) Men say, “Women don’t say what they mean or mean what they say.” This is confusing when it comes to communication.
4) Leading a man on when there is no real interest. This is a real turn off.
5) Looking unapproachable. You don’t smile or look like you want conversation. This makes it tough for a man to even approach you. Show some interest and smile.
While these may seem like small things, they are all about interest, not being self-absorbed and paying attention to your date.